Gypsy Caravan promises solution to last year’s parking woes

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ST. CHARLES (KTVI) - The 43rd annual Gypsy Caravan will be held on Monday and shoppers are hoping it goes a lot better than the 42nd.

Last year’s Gypsy Caravan became a victim of its own popularity, as thousands were stuck in terrible traffic heading to the Family Arena, which was hosting the event for the first time.

“We weren’t sure what to expect (at the new location) so we thought maybe the attendance would be down,” said Caravan co-chair Kent McNeil. “We were wrong.”

Last year’s parking plan involved only the lot at the Family Arena, plus one shuttle parking lot with two small buses.

This year, they will have three shuttle lots, eight buses, and message boards to let drivers know if the Family Arena parking lot is full.

The three shuttle lots are located at the St. Charles Convention Center, Lindenwood University, and Maryville University.

Not all the changes this year are parking related.

The indoor vending area will now include booths on the concourse level, which means access to eight more bathrooms, plus an additional ATM and more elbow room on the main floor.

The Gypsy Caravan raises money for the St. Louis Symphony.